Trump is Already Months Late on His Promise to Steelworkers. Now He’s Facing a Final Deadline.

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

It’s the final countdown.

For months, we’ve been lamenting the Trump administration’s lack of progress on its national security investigations into steel and aluminum imports. After all, both President Trump and administration officials had pledged to unveil the findings of the “Section 232” investigations by July 1.

Neither have been released. But because Trump had pledged to do something by a specific date, foreign importers rushed product into the market to get ahead of any presidential action. That made the overall crisis worse; steel imports alone were up nearly 18 percent in 2017.

Now The Donald and his crew are coming up against a deadline they cannot ignore. By law, the Commerce Department has 270 days to present the findings of the Section 232 investigations to the president – meaning the deadline is Jan. 15 for the steel imports investigation; the aluminum report is due a week later.

From there, Trump will have 90 days to decide whether to do anything to address whatever is in the reports, which could include restricting imports through tariffs or other means.

It remains very unclear what Trump intends to do. While there is talk that 2018 will be the year that the president gets tough on trade, it remains all talk – and as the 232 delays show, we’ve heard plenty of talk from this president before.

But what is clear is that it is essential for the United States to maintain a strong industrial base, especially when it comes to vital commodities like steel and aluminum.

Both industries provide middle class jobs across the country – 140,000 people are directly employed by the steel industry, 161,000 by the aluminum industry  – and the two industries together indirectly support nearly 2 million jobs.

Both are also essential to our national security and critical infrastructure. We need steel to build everything from aircraft carriers and tanks to bridges and the electric grid; aluminum is needed for fighter jets like the F-15 (and there’s only one smelter left that can make the high purity aluminum needed to build it).

Time is running out. Trump has pushed these investigations to the limit, and it is time for him to take strong, decisive action to safeguard American workers and our national security.

***

Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Members of Local 7798 achieve major goal with workplace violence policy

From the USW

Workers at Copper Country Mental Health Services in Houghton, Mich., obtained wage increases and pension improvements in their contract ratified earlier this year, but the benefit Local 7798 members were most proud of bargaining was language regarding workplace violence.

The contract committed the employer to appoint a committee, including two members of the local, to draft a workplace violence policy. Work quickly began on the policy, and just last week, the committee drafted and released its first clinical guideline focusing on responding to consumer aggression toward staff.

“We are so excited to have this go into effect,” said Unit Chair Rachelle Rodriguez of Local 7798. “This was a direct result of our last negotiating session.”

The guideline includes the definition of aggression and an outline of procedures, all of which will be reviewed yearly. And though this is just a first step in reducing the incident rates and harm of workplace violence in their workplace, it still is a big one for the local, and it wouldn’t have been possible without a collective bargaining agreement.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work